Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 6-6-19)

SuburbanOneSports.com recognizes a male and female featured athlete each week. The awards, sponsored by Univest, are given to seniors of good character who are students in good standing that have made significant contributions to their teams. Selections are based on nominations received from coaches, athletic directors and administrators.

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Female Athlete for week of June 6, 2019

Roll back the calendar four years. Rachel Martin, then an eighth grader at Holicong, was in a heat for the 200-meter dash along with her twin sister Brooke. It was Rachel’s final middle school race – an invitational involving several schools. “My goal all season was to break the 200 meter record, and everyone was super supportive of my goal,” Rachel said. “Brooke knew how badly I wanted it, so while we were running the race together, with 100 meters left, Brooke cheered for me – ‘Come on, let’s go Rachel’  - because she was a little bit ahead of me. As we approached the finish line, I ran a 27.3, Brooke ran 27.4, and the record was 27.5. We were shocked and relieved that we finally did it together.”

That account of a race four years ago tells you all you need to know about the relationship between the siblings. Both twins have been fixtures on the track team, and both have been each other’s biggest fans. This spring when Brooke, the team’s top sprinter, was sidelined with a hamstring pull, Rachel – also a sprinter – was asked to fill her twin sister’s spot on the 4x800m relay. “Brooke left big shoes for me to fill, but as I kept running and improving, Brooke was always there to support me,” Rachel said of her twin, who will continue her track career at St. Joseph’s University. “She always gave me a hug and said ‘you got this’ before I would run, and she would line the track to cheer me on.”

The fact that Rachel rose to the challenge comes as no surprise to those who know her best. The 4x800 relay went on to medal at both districts and states, finishing seventh in states. Rachel also was part of the 4x400 relay that finished seventh in states. It is the first time the two East relays have medaled in the same year. “Based on the challenges she faced, I think it was pretty special,” said East coach Steve Martin, who is also the twins’ father. “Rachel was faster than Brooke in middle school, and in high school, Brooke got stronger and became faster than Rachel. I think it’s been healthy for both of them because they push each other. It’s a supportive type of competitive nature, but I think it’s fueled Rachel on.”

Sam Lasorelli, who has been around the Martin twins for nine years at both the CYO and high school level, had a front row seat to Rachel’s progression as an athlete and leader. “Rachel leads by example,” said the longtime East track coach, who also coached Martin in winter track and cross country. “She marches to the beat of her own drum, and basically, she is not influenced by negative influences. She supports her teammates and her coaches 100 percent. She’s an excellent young lady. Rachel was very instrumental in both relay teams winning state medals, but she is one of those kids that runs under the radar, and she’s finally surfaced and became a runner everyone recognizes. There are always other girls like her sister that may outshine her, but Rachel really stepped forward and became a leader and a star athlete that really helped the team this year.”

Off the track, Martin has a clear picture of her career path with her sights set on combining her interest in media production with her passion for interior design when she enrolls at High Point University where she will continue her track career. An excellent student, Martin, who has taken numerous AP courses, is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Art and Spanish Honor Societies. She is a member of the Spanish Club and Share-a-Bag Club, which entails filling bags with food and drink for the needy. She also volunteers at Doylestown Hospital every Sunday, logging over 380 hours transporting patients.

To read Martin’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/rachel-martin-0085409

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of June 6, 2019

In sports, it’s easy to get carried away by a player who scores the most points or hits the highest volume of home runs. After all, athletics is a numbers game, so it’s only fair to measure quality by quantity, or vice versa. But that wouldn’t come close to measuring the impact and value Alex Wadsworth had on the basketball and baseball programs at William Tennent — as well as the entire school community. Wadsworth didn’t become a varsity player in both sports until his junior year and was only a full-time starter once - for the baseball program as a senior. On the diamond, he hit in the bottom third of the order, posting a respectable batting average between .260-.270. On the hardwood, Wadsworth was Tennent’s backup point guard, an energy and glue guy off the bench who played fierce defense and led by example. However, dig a little deeper and you begin to hear tales of a young man who was and has always been a team-first, vocal leader whose teammates gravitated toward. Wadsworth instantly gained the respect of players and coaches alike, and it didn’t take until his varsity campaigns to build that credibility and accountability.

“His leadership mentality was always pretty evident, even when he was a freshman,” Tennent basketball coach Robert Mulville said. “Even though he was never a varsity starter, the kids listened to him. They trusted him to make the right decisions because he is smart and because of his ability to communicate with everyone. Despite not being a starter or leading scorer, he commanded respect. He always put the team ahead of himself. That’s just the way Alex is. ”Rick Fedele is a Tennent assistant baseball coach but has the unique perspective of having coached Wadsworth on the freshman team, then the jayvee team and finally the last two years as a varsity player — one as a player off the bench, and one as a full-time starter at first base. Fedele spun a tale similar to Mulville’s: Wadsworth was a confident, vocal and reliable leader as a ninth grader, something that perpetuated for four years. He rose through the ranks as a second baseman, but when he finally got his chance to start as a senior and was asked to move to first base because the team needed it, he never asked any questions. “His heart was at second base, but he knew what he had to do for the team,” Fedele said. “Alex has always been very selfless in that sense. He moved to first without hesitation, and he filled that role exceptionally, becoming one of the best defensive first basemen in the league. (He was) just an exceptional leader, a humble young man and a genuinely great kid.”

Recently, the Tennent baseball team had its year-end banquet, and Fedele told a story how Wadsworth approached the coaching staff and asked if he could write and deliver a speech to the team, a message that conveyed how much he loved and appreciated each and every member of the squad. “My overall message was to just keep working hard,” Wadsworth said. “With nine of us leaving, that’s nine spots open for younger players. I wanted to tell them to keep working hard to improve our program. We may not have had a lot of success in my four years here, but the only way we’ll get better is having that next-man-up approach. I told them to work hard in the offseason and stay focused on their goals.”

Wadsworth is a member of the school’s Athletic Council, Student Government and the Future Business Leaders of America, a national business honor society. He was also a captain for Tennent’s Black & White Night. In the fall, Wadsworth will be off to James Madison University where he will study Business Management.

To read Wadworth’s complete profile, please click on the following link:  http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/alex-wadsworth-0085400